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Master Thesis

Ter Dennen,

The site is located in westmalle, it was originally a retreat for the Nuns of Herentals. The building was created in 1968 and designed by Cis van de Velde. It was named “Ter Dennen”.



After the land was originally from Westmalle Abbey,

it was subsequently donated to the sisters of Vorselaar.

Ter Dennen was built in 1968, it is a retreat where the sisters could go on holiday. One regular sister “Sister Maj” lived there. This was very popular in these years, but according to sizes, fewer and fewer sisters came on holiday. This was because fewer sisters remained. After a few years, it became a refugee building for the sisters, where people from outside could go to reflect on or hold conferences. For example, the sisters also rented Ter dennen once a year to the diocese of Antwerp, where they held the annual diocese conferences. (4 meeting rooms, chapel for 70 people)


A few years later, the fathers of Westmalle took over the building again because the sisters were in need of money. Until now, the building is empty and nothing is being done with it.

The identity walk,

Crematorium Ter Dennen.

Welcome to Ter Dennen, a meeting place where nature and people support and guide each other. 

The identity walk guides you through the grieving process, with the aim of reopening the identity of the next of kin. The loss of the deceased is unconsciously integrated into the present. In this process, there is no going back, only a 

continuous path to a new chapter (identity).

The ceremonial rite that takes place in a crematorium is essential in the parting process of a loved one. Upon arrival, the next of kin is accompanied to the farewell and upon 

return, the processing is central. The farewell auditorium 

allows you to experience the warmth and emotion of the next of kin with a serenity that is present towards the 

deceased person. During the identity walk, people and 

nature come together by means of concentric circles. The emotions are stabilized by the serenity and tranquility 

experienced in Ter Dennen.


De site The site is located at Sint Pauluslaan 8 Westmalle, 2390. The building was created in 1968 and designed by Cis van de Velde. The architect received a request to design a retreat for the nuns of Herentals. 

Master’s thesis Esmée Meyer, June 2020, University of Antwerp

Master’s thesis Esmée Meyer, June 2020, University of Antwerp

The crematorium stands for 

serenity, peace, and privacy with a feeling that there is only attention for the deceased and the next of kin. 

Death should not necessarily mean grief. It can also be a release and come as a release.

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